Collins Gem Portuguese Dictionary (英語) ペーパーバック – 2000/1/15
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In addition to the new layout and typography, this text has been updated to include all the latest vocabulary. A new feature of this revised edition are the highlighted entries offering fascinating insights into culturally significant events of Brazil and Portugal. This reference guide should be useful for beginners and travellers alike.
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PRO's - compact size , plastic cover, very sturdy. CON's - the compact size limits the extent of the translations, minimal to no nuances possible, and virtually no grammar.
I was going to return to book for a refund and get a different dictionary, but I will keep it and I can take it on my daily excursions.
Re: Seller and shipping - it arrived promptly, but I consider the condition of the book to be Good, not really Very Good.
Having used all the various editions, and still using them all as I keep one in various places at home/office etc., I can compare the strengths and weaknesses.
First of all, the Collins gem dictionary is the best portable dictionary around. I have used or examined all of the others and thrown or given them away because the Collins is the best. It is written clearly, has the most words, and contains as much information as possible for a small book. It is truly pocket size, meaning it will fit in your shirt pocket. Over the years it has gotten a little thicker due to more words, more definitions of each word, and thicker paper. I personally think it's about a half inch too thick to be really comfortable in my shirt pocket, but unless you can find an older, thinner version with the onion skin paper, this is the best you can do. I do have concern that the newer, thicker paper might not wear as well. The onion skin paper seems to hold up better in my 50 year old Bible, and I wonder if this new paper will be as durable. (I guess I'll find out in another 30-50 years)
This edition (4th) has a plasticized cover so it won't break down like my 30 year old copy. It also has more entries under each word. For example, a common verb like the English "run" has dozens of definitions. It would be impossible to list them all in a pocket dictionary, but the latest editions have more than the earlier editions. This makes it more likely to get an accurate translation of a word. This edition also has better explanatory pages listing verb conjugations and the like. Unless you could already conjugate "ser" - "to be" - how would you otherwise know that "seja", "fui", and "foram" were all forms of "ser"? However, the dictionary still only lists "see verb ser" under these conjugations. There is plenty of room on the line next to "fui" to define it ("I was") rather than just refer to another page. But it continues to improve over the years.
For more formal translation work, or to use on archaic literature, I use a more complete dictionary - Novo Michaelis. Its 2 volumes are about 18 inches thick and anything but portable, however.
I recommend getting books from the US or Europe, rather than Brazil. Brazil, though fairly literate, has the lowest number of bookstores in the developed world per capita. This lack of a market means that the in-country publications are of poor quality and poorly edited and proofread. I rarely saw books in a Brazilian home unless they were schoolbooks, sciptures, pornography or in a teacher or intellectuals house. Lately, Brazilian publishers have taken to just publishing crooked photocopies that are often unreadable in their books and it can be difficult to even find a brand new book that doesn't already have a broken binding or loose pages.
For travel, or ordinary translation needs, this will serve quite well, and though I am quite fluent in Portuguese, I still use this most often when I need help to translate some literary word I have forgotten or never learned. Highly recommended from this user of 30 years.